Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘South-West’

Jonathan’s deal prompting minister’s sack exposed.


 

The recent sack of four ministers may just be part of a deal  President Goodluck Jonathan has entered into in his re-election project,  Daily Sun can now reveal.
Jonathan had, on Wednesday, fired Princess Stella Oduah, Minister of  Aviation; Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger Delta; Caleb  Olubolade, Minister of Police Affairs and Yerima Ngama, Minister of  State for Finance. This came barely one month after the president  removed the service chiefs and appointed new ones.
Daily Sun gathered that the sack of the four ministers is part of the trade-off Jonathan has made, in his quest to seek re-election.
Competent sources revealed that some elements in South-West had  specifically asked Jonathan to sack Oduah and Mike Oghiadomhe, the  former chief of staff to the president, if he wants to get the zone’s  support in 2015.
It was gathered that the South-West has also requested that  replacements for Oduah and Oghiadomhe should come from South-West, as a  proof that Jonathan is not marginalising the zone.
Opposition, however, has greeted the latter request, as some elements  in the Presidency are insisting that whichever minister is sacked  should be replaced by somebody from the zone.
Sources also revealed that the sack of the service chiefs was due to  the request some politicians from the North made, for them to support  Jonathan’s second term bid.
It was gathered that the northern elements specifically asked for  either the post of Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Defence Staff, with  the president opting for the latter.
In appointing the Chief of Defence Staff, Jonathan changed the  sequence, as the post rotates among the Army, Navy and Air Force. While  the Navy and the air force produced the last two Chief of Defence Staff,  the Army was expected to take its turn now.
To please the North, as the zone requested, Jonathan appointed Alex  Badeh from the Air Force, making it possible for two air men to serve as  CDS within a space of six years.
Daily Sun gathered that as the 2015 general elections gets close,  Jonathan will make more concessions to political blocks he thinks would  be useful in his second term bid.
Sources revealed that the president would, between now and June, make  his intention to seek a second term known. However, this will come  after he would have pacified some politicians and zones critical to his  second term ambition.
Meanwhile, Oduah has received encomiums from her kith and kin in Anambra State, who described her as a heroine.
They also commended Jonathan for giving Oduah an opportunity to give uncommon developmental stride in the aviation industry.
Speaking on Oduah, leader of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)  in Anambra, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, noted that the former minister has made  the Igbo proud, in the course of discharging her duty as aviation  minister.
Pointing to the transformation of the nation’s airports he said: “I  have been in this country and used the airports so often that what I see  as transformation in our airports was unbelievable to me that a woman  could make such a difference.
“Oduah to me is a heroine; she brought ingenuity in the aviation  industry and has done marvelously well, and she has really done us  proud.”
Also speaking, the Anambra State House Committee Chairman on  Information, Mr. Poly Onyeka thanked the President for giving the Igbo  the chance to prove themselves in service to their nation, stressing  that Oduah brought originality and creativity in aviation industry that  one would have thought she could be allowed to do more.
He said: “I thought Oduah could have been allowed to continue to discharge her responsibility, but it turned other way.”
The lawmaker commended the former minister for making aviation the most improved sector in the country.
The Anambra Ohanaeze Chairman, Dr. Chris Elumunoh, said that the  president acted in the best interest of the nation and enjoys total  rights on appointment or firing of any appointee.
Noting that Oduah initiated good projects in the industry, he urged  Jonathan to appoint someone who would continue from the stride of Oduah.
by Biafragalaxy

Chief of Staff: Jonathan considers Rtd General •South-South battles South-West.


 

THE ongoing reorganisation in the Federal Government may see a retired General being appointed as the Chief of Staff to the president, it was learnt on Friday.
ADVERTISEMENT

This came as certain forces around the president are also said to be advising President Goodluck Jonathan to scrap the office. They are said to be suggesting that the president’s Principal Secretary combine his duties with those of the Chief of Staff.

The position of these ‘advisers’, the source said, was informed by what was described as the perceived excesses of the last holder of that office.

A presidency source, however, told Saturday Tribune that two retired senior army officers – a Major-General and a Brigadier-General, both from the South-West – have been contacted to sound them out on their disposition to possible appointment to the position if the president eventually decides to do so.

One of the two Generals is from Oyo State while the other hails from Lagos State, Saturday Tribune learnt.

The decision to go for a retired General for the post, the source said, is one of the options being considered by the president who is under intense pressure from the South-West and the South-South to ‘give them’ the position.

It was gathered that the initial demand for the post by the North was defeated by the argument of the South that the North already had more than its fair share in the Federal Government line-up.

The North presently parades the Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff, among others.

The argument of the South-South in demanding for the position, it was gathered, is that the last occupier of the post hailed from the zone and as such, the post should remain there.

Apart from the cries of marginalisation in the Federal Government by the South-West, it was learnt that a key figure in the civil society organisations (names withheld) was with the president on Monday where discussions touched on the appointment of the president’s chief of staff and the need to pacify the South-West with the post.

The final decision on the appointment, the source said, is that of the president who is said to be weighing options and balancing the scales on the allocation of portfolios to the newly appointed ministers.

Source: Radio Biafra.NORTH

How Ministers, Presidential Panel Pressured Jonathan To Sack Indicted Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah – PREMIUM TIMES.


 

Disgraced former Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Stella oduah
By Ogala Emmanuel

President Goodluck Jonathan fired Nigeria’s former aviation minister, Stella Oduah, indicted in multiple corruption cases, in response to an overwhelming local and international pressure, spiced by an unprecedented campaign by fellow cabinet members, PREMIUM TIMES has reliably learnt.

The former minister was sacked Wednesday alongside her counterparts in the ministry of police affairs, Caleb Olubolade, and Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe in a surprise cabinet shake-up. The minister of state for finance, Yerima Ngama, was also fired.

Multiple government officials and security sources said the decision to fire the aviation minister, Mrs. Oduah, whose tenure turned out the most controversial with serious cases of corruption and breach of public trust, was taken by Mr. Jonathan weekend, after reviewing extensive local and foreign concerns on the implication of retaining her.

Officials said the minister was considered so much of a liability on the administration that beyond external pressure, colleague ministers and members of a presidential panel that investigated her for corruption led the effort to convince Mr. Jonathan to fire her.

The cabinet members argued that Mrs. Oduah’s continued stay in office, despite a ground swell of evidence of corruption against her, was inflicting further damage on an administration widely accused of undermining Nigeria’s relative gains in the war against corruption.

At the forefront of that effort, our sources said were ministers, led by one from the South-East and another from the South-West, who considered Mrs. Oduah’s continuous presence in cabinet as a slight on their integrity and international profiles.

The ministers led an internal pressure group which persistently pressured Mr. Jonathan to demand Mrs. Oduah’s resignation.

Members of the presidential panel that indicted her formed the second pressure group that called for her removal. Members of the committee include former head of service of the federation, Sali Bello, National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Air Vice-Marshal Dick Iruenabhere.

The final influence, our source said, came mainly from local and international media that consistently projected Mrs. Oduah as the face of corruption in the Jonathan administration.

“The pressure was too much on Oga,” a close aide of President Jonathan told PREMIUM TIMES. “He had thought about ignoring the pressure and possibly keep her till December but the pressure group kept pushing. Some ministers even started signalling that they would quit the administration if Stella was allowed to remain. The president had no choice than to act. He didn’t want any more embarrassment.”

Our sources said the President had planned to fire the controversial minister in January but later developed cold feet, triggering a new wave of pressure from officials who wanted her removed.

Mrs. Oduah’s troubled tenure hit notoriety last year after it became public she compelled a government agency under her watch to purchase two armoured cars for her use at an inflated cost of N255 million. The contract was neither budgeted for by government nor advertised publicly as required by the public procurement law.

Mrs. Oduah has consistently denied any wrongdoing, claiming the identified infringements were committed by her subordinates at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, whom she directed to “do the needful”- a phrase she implied as a directive that officials should follow the law in any transaction.

An investigation by the House of Representatives found the former minister culpable in the car deal and urged Mr. Jonathan to remove her from office.

The president refused to act, as he did on similar recommendations concerning other ministers considered corrupt, including the petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The presidential panel Mr. Jonathan tasked to conduct a separate investigation into the car purchase also indicted Ms. Oduah, accusing her of approving a contract that exceeded the threshold of her authority as a minister.

“The panel laid the fact before the president, it was his call to take action,” a source familiar with the work of the presidential panel told PREMIUM TIMES. “The panel members kept pushing that action should be taken even though they did not explicitly recommend Oduah’s sack in their report.”

While he confirmed receipt of the report of the presidential panel, Mr. Jonathan failed to make the document public amid intense widespread call for the removal of the minister, his close political ally.

Our sources said the administration came under even more intense pressure after separate investigations by PREMIUM TIMES, and news website, Saharareporters, established that Mrs Oduah falsified her qualifications.

A PREMIUM TIMES investigation found her to have lied about her qualifications in the resume she presented to the Nigerian senate for her confirmation hearing. She claimed a non-existent university awarded her an honorary doctorate.

The government did not comment or act on the finding.

But as the burden of retaining her in government grew, colleague ministers and members of the panel pushed hard to have Mrs. Oduah sacked, intensifying their lobby mid-January, our sources said.

The effort was however countered by another lobby group which succeeded in buying more time for the embattled minister.

The group reportedly advised the president that should he decide to drop her, she should be fired with the minimum humiliation possible.

It is based on that counsel that she was asked to resign alongside three other colleagues, our sources said.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Bola Tinubu- Yoruba leaders didn’t invite me to confab meeting.


Bola-Tinubu-003

Former Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu,

has said he did not attend the Friday meeting of Yoruba leaders on the proposed national conference because he was not invited. A group, Yoruba Committee on National Conference, had met at the Isara-Remo, Ogun State-home of an elder statesman, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, to strategise on the selection of delegates for the South-West geopolitical zone ahead of the conference. Some of the prominent Yoruba leaders at the meeting were Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State; Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti; former Minister of Finance, Chief Olu Falae; Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd.); activist lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite; Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi (retd.); Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu; and the convener, Save Nigeria Group, Pastor Tunde Bakare. Speaking to our correspondent on Saturday, Tinubu’s media aide, Mr. Sunday Dare, said there were attempts by some leaders in the South-West to sideline other Yoruba leaders, especially those in the APC. He said, “Have you asked whether they (APC leaders) were intimated about the meeting? There was no communication whatsoever. There was an attempt by a group of self-appointed Yoruba leaders to isolate some other persons. And this has been going on for a long time. “There was no information out there, whether in the public or privately. And it is not possible for these leaders — the APC leaders or the Yoruba leaders in the APC — to go for a meeting they don’t know about; a meeting they were not invited to. It is not possible.” Also, the Publicity Secretary, APC, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said it was left to the people to judge whether they were the leaders of the Yoruba nation or not. He said such a meeting without Tinubu and the APC governors from Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and “probably” Edo states was incomplete. Igbokwe said, “There are leaders, there are also leaders. We, as the followers can choose where we want to be. They are leaders in their own class. I can’t deny Chief Ayo Adebanjo; I know him in the days of the locust. I can’t deny others but there are leaders and there are also leaders. “Asiwaju and the governors of the APC states (in the South-West) were not there. If you’re doing something in the South-West and you cannot find the APC leaders who have about 90 per cent control of the leadership of the zone, then what are you talking about? It means that there is a lacuna.” But his Ogun APC counterpart, Mr. Sola Lawal, said the opposition party was still opposed to the conference and would not attend such meetings as a result. He stated the party had made it clear that the conference must be attended by ethnic nationalities only. He said the party’s opposition to the confab had been justified by the announcement that the memorandum from the exercise would be subjected to legislation by the National Assembly and that the recommendations by the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference had been widely criticised. Lawal said, “As progressives in the APC, we do not believe in that conference because we have not seen the sincerity of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to put the conference together.” Contrary to the claim that he (Tinubu) was not invited, Ayo Adebanjo was quoted in a national daily newspaper on Saturday as saying that Tinubu and other APC chieftains rebuffed efforts made to invite them to the forum.

Source: Radio Biafra.

National Conference just before another jamboree.


national-conference-001

President Goodluck Jonathan has released the modalities for the convocation of a National Conference with limited powers.

Expectedly, criticisms have been trailing the modalities. The seriousness of the Federal Government has been questioned by many stakeholders. The consensus of opinion is that, for another three months or more, delegates will participate in a government-sponsored jamboree in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Since the premise for the national dialogue is not the ethnic nationalities, many have also argued that the exercise is an imposition.

However, pro-Jonathan forces have a contrary view. They believe that the conference will chart a new course for the country. Hailing the President for acceding to the popular request for a national debate, they also said that the conference will lay a better constitutional future.

When the President unfolded his plan for the conference on October 1, last year, many stakeholders queried his real intention. There were speculations that the idea was sold the option to the embattled leader to douse the mounting national tension. But, the sudden change of heart by the Commander-in-Chief still came as a surprise. In the past, Dr. Jonathan had objected to it, saying that a democratic government was in place. The proposal polarised the polity. A section said that the Federal Government was trying to divert attention from its gross failure to restore hope to the beleaguered country. In particular, the advocates of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) were not amused. In their view, the proposal fell below expectation.

Public enthusiasm has been waning since the Presidential Advisory Committee headed by Senator Femi Okurounmu submitted its report to the President. It was a divided committee. A minority report surfaced. It was written by a member of the committee, Chief Solomon Asemota (SAN). The bone of contention was the method proposed for the ratification of the conference report. While the majority report hammered on parliamentary ratification, the minority report emphasised the import of ratification by a referendum. The majority report on the mode of ratification reflected the President’s view. Last year, Dr. Jonathan told the nation that the report will be sent to the National Assembly for ratification. The implication is that the decisions reached at the conference may or may not be approved by the National Assembly.

The fear expressed by critics were confirmed last week when the Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Pius Ayim, released the guidelines. 492 delegates are expected at the talk show. They are to be drawn from the strata of the society: government, traditional institution, political parties, judiciary, and civil societies. They are to be nominated by local, state and federal governments. Thus, it is “guided conference”.

The ethnic nationalities may not command a strong voice there. Observers have argued that nominees may not have the mind of their own. Since he who plays the piper dictates the tune, the presidential nominees will be his eye and ear at the conference. The delegates may therefore, be manipulated by the government to achieved a pre-determined goal.

The official name of the dialogue is The National Conference. This is antithetical to a Sovereign National Conference. There is a no-go area. The Federal Government is sensitive to the warning by a foreign body that the country may disintegrate next year. Therefore, it stated that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. The time frame is also suspect. The government has proposed three months. But, it is evident that the conference will coincide with preparations for the 2015 general elections.

The timeframe for the nomination of delegates is between now and February 20. Wide consultations may not herald the nominations. In outlook, the proposed conference is elitist. The President may have also played a fast game. He is not indifferent to the position of the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), on the vexed issue. Therefore, if the 17 APC governors refuse to nominate delegates, Dr. Jonathan, an Ijaw from the Southsouth, will nominate delegates on their behalf. These delegates may come from the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Critics will describe their assignments as “jobs for the boys”.

The delegates are expected to receive remuneration. But, funding for the conference is another hurdle. Although the conference is expected to commence proceedings this month, there is no assurance that the budget would have been passed before next month.

The script was carefully written at Aso Villa, the seat of government. But, The President needed an ally to sell the dummy. He found one in Senate President David Mark, who was saddled with flying the cart. The retired General, who had frowned at the agitation for the conference in the past, based on his belief in the legitimacy of the National Assembly as the anchor of popular rule, suddenly retraced his steps. Thus, many believed that the conference propaganda was designed to gage the public mood.

Historically, at critical points in national history, past governments have resorted to camouflage national debate, talk or dialogue to douse the tension. Indeed, when the dreadful dictator, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, set up a constitutional conference in 1994, the uprising in the Niger Delta stopped for one year. The Abacha conference was made up of 396 delegates. The late head of State nominated 96 members. Although the report of the 1994/95 conference did not see the light of the day, the delegates succeeded in dividing Nigeria into six geo-political zones. The six geo-political regions are not backed by law, but the structure is respected by the political class. Also, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo inaugurated the Abuja Reforms Conference, expectations were high that it would usher in a new dawn. The conference collapsed on the altar of the third term agenda. Of 400 delegates, Obasanjo nominated 50 delegates. Many delegates, who have reflected on the report, have called for the implementation of the report. Former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, who also nominated delegates, has backed the call for the retrieval of the report from the dustbin. He said since resolutions have been passed on many of the issues that the delegates are going to debate in Abuja, the Federal Government should have the courage to implement the 2005 report.

Shortly after he assumed the reins, the first military Head of State, the late Gen. Thomas Auguyi-Ironsi, set up an ad hoc constitutional committee to debate the contentious issues tearing apart the country. The committee was dead on arrival. At the inception of the military rule, soldiers in power lacked the political skills to handle those sensitive issues and problems which the military intervention had compounded. When the Muritala/Obasanjo set up the Constitutional Drafting Committee and Constituent Assembly, the transition to civil rule programme of the regime received a popular acclaim. Even, when the former President Ibrahim Babangida set up the Constituent Assembly in 1989, it calmed down the nerves. But, the report also did not see the light of the day.

President Jonathan’s first step at implementing the proposal was confusing. He named an advocate of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), Dr. Okurounmu, as the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee to prepare the ground for the talk. But, the committee was on tour of the six geo-political regions to collate views on modalities, the President announced that the National Assembly will debate the conference report. The statement irked many people. But, the members of the committee became deviated from their terms of reference when they were defending the President. When the team led by Okurounmu visited Benin, the capital of Edo State, for consultation with the Southsouth stakeholders, a committee member, Col. Tony Nyiam, took on Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Thus, the committee was censoring public opinion on the conference.

During the debate on the proposed conference, members of the National Assembly were not aloof. In the beginning, they loathed the idea of conference, pointing out that the nation should not waste time on another Constituent Assembly that will be saddled with the business of constitution making at a time the National Assembly is also reviewing the constitution. But, when reality dawned on them that the conference would be inevitable, they indicated a deeper interest. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said in Lagos that it will not be a bad idea, if the legislators are also delegates. He explained that federal lawmakers are also stakeholders. However, the agitation for the inclusion of the legislators was doused when the President announced that the report will be ratified by the National Assembly.

According rights activists and leaders of the ethnic nationalities, a conference, on its merit, is not a bad idea. The obstacle to its success in the past was the lack of sincerity by the government. Since it is not going to be a SNC, many rights activists have submitted that the scope of the national dialogue will be essentially limited. There are some puzzles: If a constitution is expected to be fashioned out by the conference, should there be no-go areas? Can a national conference produce a truly peoples’ constitution? Should the government insist that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable in a country that has not become a nation, 100 years after the amalgamation? How will the suitability and competence of delegates be determined? If they are nominated or appointed by the government and influential elite as it is being proposed by the Federal Government, will their nominations meet the criteria for representativeness and legitimacy? How popular are the delegates at the grassroots? Would they have the mandate of the people who are emotionally attached to the ethnic nationalities? Now that the nomination is based partially on the ethnic nationalities, states, local governments or constituencies, what will be the ratio of representation? Will the proposed single term of six or seven years resurface at the conference for debate?

There are other questions: since delegates be appointed by the governors, what is the criteria? What will be the terms of reference? How will they emerge across the states? Will the conference resolutions be subjected to referendum? If it is not subjected to a referendum, how will the report or resolutions be validated? If it is not validated by a referendum, will it be legitimate? Will recommendations be accepted by the government, if delegates oppose the proposed ratification by the National Assembly? Will the report be thrown into the dustbin as usual? The Federal Government has said that resolutions on contentious issues would be taken, based on the approval of 75 percent of delegates. 75 percent of 492 is 369 delegates. How about resolutions that mainly touch on the lives of the minority tribes, who may not be adequately represented? Will the majority not trample on the wish of the minority?

Since the eighties, the agitation for a Sovereign National Conference had gained prominence. It was first articulated by the legal luminary, the late Chief Alao Aka-Bashorun. The deceased human rights lawyer said that it was possible to hold the conference in Nigeria. He urged the government to tap from the experience of the Soviet Union and the Republic of Benin, which resolved some of its problems by convoking conferences. Throughout the military rule, Aka-Bashorun was harassed for his principled position on the national question and agitation for a Sovereign National Conference.

Also, in the nineties, the former Oyo State governor, Chief Bola Ige, who summed up the arguments for the national conference, raised two questions: “Do we want to remain as one country? If the answer is yes, under what conditions?”. The implication is that a debate is necessary to determine the basis for peaceful co-existence and harmony. Ige said that many national problems could be resolve by debate, instead of resorting to the barrels of gun.

Following the annulment of the historic June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola, there was disillusionment. The cancellation disputed the basis for peaceful co-existence among the competing tribes. The advocates of the SNC expanded the national question. Discussion on the resolution of the identity, integration, participation and distribution crises came to the front burner. Stakeholders came to the conclusion that Nigeria was hanging on a flawed or defective federal system. The unitary system foisted on the polity by the military had created strains. But the interlopers opposed the struggle for a new order with brute force.

Up to now, these questions remained unsolved: Is state or community police not desirable in a big, diverse, heterogeneous country characterised by multiplicity of traditions, customs, and languages? Should the governors, who are the chief security officers of their states, continue to obtain permission from the distant Inspector-General of Police to maintain law and order? Should an Igbo or Yoruba, who was born and bred in the North be denied political and economic rights, owing to the tension between indigeneship and residency? Should a Fulani/Hausa, who had lived in the South for 30 years be edged out of the participatory political process? It remains to be seen if these questions will be answered by Jonathan’s National Conference, which has limitations. Does the President needs a conference to fight the infrastructure battle, tar the roads and fund education and public hospitals efficiently? Does the President needs a conference to build refineries, fight corruption and resolve the crises that have engulfed his party? Does he need a conference to guarantee power supply?

Posted by: EMMANUEL OLADESU

Source: Radio Biafra

South West (Yoruba) cries marginalisation when the tide is about to turn completely in 4 days time.


Yoruba Gov

West GovernorAS the presidency is addressing claims of marginalisation in federal appointments by the South West, the zone may be facing a new form of discrimination, going by the proposed details in some ministries in 2014 budget.A breakdown of new projects proposed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, which was obtained by the Nigerian Tribune, showed the South West largely neglected in the allocation of the projects, compared with other five geopolitical zones.Analysis of capital projects of about N30 billion proposed by the ministry showed the three zones of the North taking the lion share of over 80 per cent, while with three southern zones competed with 20 per cent, of which South-West had less than two per cent.Of over 30 new irrigation projects proposed in the 2014 budget, only two were located in the South West.The two, lower and middle Ogun, however, had only design funding of less than N10 million, in contrast to similar new irrigation projects in Kaduna, Kano and Yobe, to which over N1.2 billion was allocated.Of the 41 new earth dam projects proposed by the ministry, South West had only one at Ile-Ife, Osun State, with about 75 per cent of the dams located in the North, while the old Eastern region had the rest.Further checks showed that while the Ile-Ife dam had only N100 million allocated to it, similar projects located in the Middle Belt and core North had between N250 million to over N500 million allocated to them in the next fiscal year.The South West was not only neglected in the areas of irrigation and new dams, the region was also shortchanged in town/city water projects, as there was no allocation to the region in the over 40 new water works projects in the country. A check showed the North being the major beneficiary of the projects, followed by the South-South and the South East.Northern cities benefitting from the water works projects included Talata Marafa,

Takum, Gombe, Biu, Zungeru, Langtang, Damaturu, Uguru, Bulkashuwa, among others. While the reasons for the lopsidedness was not clear, the proposal is, however, subject to review by the relevant committees of the two chambers of the National Assembly.Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, it will be recalled, is from Plateau State, while the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Baba Ahmed, is a royal prince from Bauchi State. Nigeriatribune.

Source: Radio Biafra.

APC zones vice presidency to South-West •Tinubu shops for nominee.


Tinubu-Buhari

THERE are strong indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has zoned its Vice Presidential slot to the South West while the Northern part of the country is to produce the presidential standardbearer of the party.

The national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu is also reported to have abandoned his rumoured vice presidency bid and is now said to be shopping for the right nomination to team up with whoever emerges as the party presidential candidate.

These were said to be the outcome of series of nocturnal political consultations which took place within and outside the country when the former Lagos state governor was on medical treatment in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

Impeccable party source told the Nigerian Tribune that the unofficial decision to concede the vice presidency to the South West rather than the South East was because of the zone’s strength within the party while the north is naturally primed to produce the standardbearer.

Tinubu, since returning from the medical trip is reported to have commenced search for a suitable nominee for the vice presidency which many insiders believe was his prerogative since he would have emerged the running mate but for what the source called sensitive considerations.

The consultation was reported to center on alleged condition given the party leader that whoever is to be nominated from the South West should be a Christian as the party is said to be oppose to a Muslim muslim ticket.

Contrary to expectation that the Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola may pick the Vice Presidency, Nigerian Tribune was told that the religious consideration has knocked all four South West governors of the party out of considerations.

Tinubu and his inner circle are said to have subsequently crafted criteria to be used in making the nomination from the zone. Among the conditions are that the nominee must be a Christian grounded in the politics of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), that he or she must have served in senior governmental capacity like minister, governor or senator and that he must have national name appeal.

A party source in Abuja told the Nigerian Tribune that “Asiwaju is in charge as far as South West is concerned. He actually raised the idea with a senator second day after his return into the country. I cannot say however whether a name has been agreed on or not,” the source said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Flood-Hit Town On Alert As Rain Lashes UK.


Related Content

A town devastated by flooding five years ago is on alert again after rain and wind continued to wreak havoc across the country.

Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, was one of the worst hit places during flooding in July 2007, with more than 1,800 households turned upside down when torrential rainfall forced them to move out of their homes and into temporary accommodation.

The town, the scene of the striking image of Tewkesbury Abbey surrounded by flood water in 2007, is on alert again, with the   Environment Agency   (EA) setting up an incident room as heavy rain continued to cause the River Severn to rise.

A spokeswoman for the EA said three incident rooms had been set up in the Midlands, including at Tewkesbury, while a further incident room was set up for the Wessex area as southern parts of the UK take the brunt of the bad weather.

The agency has warned of localised flooding across parts of southern and eastern England, Midlands and Wales, with a total of 27 flood warnings and 173 flood alerts in place on its website.

A spokeswoman said: “It’s not unusual to experience heavy downpours and some flooding – mainly of farmland – at this time of year, but we’re continuing to closely monitor the forecast and rainfall particularly in areas along the rivers Severn, Teme and Avon, including Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground continuing a close watch on river levels as well as checking defences and clearing any potential blockages to reduce the risk of flooding.”

The latest downpours   come at the end of a particularly wet week for England and Wales, in which 42mm (1.7in) of rain fell in the South East and 55mm (2.2in) in the South West, which has now had 166% of the average rainfall for April.

Many areas at risk of floods are currently in a state of drought, which is gripping the South East, East Anglia, the Midlands, the South West and south and east Yorkshire after two unusually dry winters in a row.

While some parts of Britain can hope for a reprieve today, the South West shows no sign of drying up with the wet weather set to continue.

Sky News weather presenter Joanna Robinson said: “Most other places will dry up, but southwest Britain will stay wet and windy, with gusts up to 60mph.”

Thousands of homes were left without power in Wales over the weekend.

Around 1,200 homes in South Wales still have no electricity.

Earlier many homes were cut off in the West Midlands, as well as 2,000 in the South West, electricity supplier   Western Power   said.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Sky NewsSky News 

…searches for Obasanjo’s successor.


Following the sudden resignation of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the party’s leadership has started a frantic search for the most likely successor to the former President.

On Tuesday night, some top members of the party met at the residence of the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on Adetokunbo Street, Abuja.

The meeting was still on as at the time of filing this report.

Investigations revealed that since Obasanjo made known his resignation to the leadership of the PDP, the Chairman had been moving from one meeting to the other.

He was said to have left his residence around 12.30pm only to return to the house for another round of meetings between 7pm and 8pm.

When contacted, the National Vice Chairman, South West, Mr. Segun Oni, said he would not comment as the resignation would be made formal on Wednesday (today).

Oni, who spoke through his Media Aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said the leadership of the party in the South-West would meet with Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Wednesday.

Source: PUNCH NIGERIA.

by Fidelis Soriwei and Femi Makinde.

Oni, Oru emerge as PDP national vice-chairmen.


Segun Oni

Anger trailed the convention of the Peoples Democratic Party in the

South-West zone on Wednesday, in Osogbo, where a former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Segun Oni, emerged as National Vice-Chairman of the zone.

Just as South-West PDP picked Oni, the South-South chapter at its zonal convention in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, picked Chief Steven Oru from Delta State as the National Vice-Chairman.

But Oni’s emergence in the South-West was opposed by a former Chairman of the party in Ekiti State, Chief Ropo Adesanya.

Adesanya, who had come to the venue with his numerous supporters and apparently hoping to go into an election, was shocked when Oni’s name was announced as the party’s choice for the national vice chairmanship post.

Storming out of the venue when Oni’s name was announced, Adesanya told journalists, “I am not happy because I was not allowed to even contribute to the process.”

Adesanya, who said he had grudgingly accepted the verdict of the party, promised to remain a loyal party member, despite the unfavourably decision of the party.

In a show of annoyance, supporters of various contestants abused the leaders of the party after the convention, stressing that the party was yet to learn from the mistakes of the past.

A former officer of the PDP in the south-west, who spoke on anonymity said, “Why must we impose candidates on the party when everybody is prepared for an election?

“We can’t reclaim our lost glory in the South-West if we continue to engage in divisive tendencies that brought us to this pitiable junction.”

Alhaji Tunde Muhammad, had to defer the announcement of consensus candidates for some posts as several delegates shouted their disagreement when some names nominated names.

Several journalists who thronged the venue of the event were turned back by security operatives, who told them they were not invited.

In his post-election speech, Oni promised to lead a vibrant and robust South-West PDP to glory.

In order to harmonise the positions, Obasanjo had convened a meeting at the Osogbo residence of Oyinlola before the convention.

At the meeting held in Oyinlola’s house, Obasanjo urged members to embrace unity and peace, adding that the members needed to be selfless and committed to the ideals of the party.

In Port Harcourt,the PDP zonal congress went awry when two candidates emerged for the position of PDP youth leader of the zone.

The exercise had earlier gone without hitch as nine of the 10 available positions were filled through adoption and voice votes.

While the same strategy for election was expected in the PDP zonal youth leader, Mr. Francis Izuage from Edo State and Mr. Daniel Asuquo from Akwa Ibom State came out, a development, which surprised the party faithful that streamed the Port Harcourt for the event.

Worried by the situation, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, intervened in order to make peace reign and probably to assuage Asuquo’s feelings.

Within a few minutes, Asuquo announced that he was stepping down for Izuage, a decision that attracted an ovation from the crowd.

However, President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by the Chief of Staff in the Presidency, Chief Mike Oghiadomen, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the congress.

Source: PUNCH NIGERIA.

by Tunde Odesola and Chukwudi Akasike.

Tag Cloud